May 13, 2013
To: California Victim’s Compensation and Government Claims Board (CalVCP)
P.O. Box 48, Sacramento, CA 95812-0048
Compensation is official acknowledgement of what victims suffer and is money which can help with security and recovery. It must be available to all victims without prejudice, including sex workers and formerly incarcerated women.
We the undersigned:
1) Oppose Regulation 649.56 Involvement in the Qualifying Crime of Prostitution which is used to deny compensation to victims of rape and other violence, who are sex workers and Regulation 649.4(b) that excludes people who are on felony probation and parole from getting compensation. We are asking that this discriminatory language be urgently removed.
These discriminatory regulations blame victims for the violence perpetrated against them and assume that rape and other violence is not as serious for some women as it is for others – specifically sex workers and formerly incarcerated people. Last year 28 applicants were denied under Regulation 649.56, a regulation which is not written into the law and which therefore may be illegal, and which is used against victims even where there is no conviction for prostitution.
2) Call for a comprehensive and timely hearing and review of all regulations which may be discriminatory, organized at a time that gives interested parties and the public sufficient notice to participate and make their views known.
Rape and other forms of violence are a horror and it is a shocking injustice that some victims are denied the support and acknowledgement of suffering that compensation represents. Given the national attention on recent terrible cases of rape and other violence against women, now is the time to end this discrimination.
ACLU of Northern California
BAYSWAN, Bay Area Sex Worker Advocacy Network
California Crime Victims
Coalition on Homelessness/SF
Erotic Service Providers Legal, Education and Research Project
Every Mother is a Working Mother Network
Faithful Fools Street Ministry
Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace
Global Women’s Strike
Harm Reduction Coalition
Legal Action for Women
Long Beach Area Peace Network
Los Angeles Community Action Network
National Lawyers Guild/San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Orange County Peace Coalition
Sex Workers’ Outreach Project/Bay Area
US PROStitutes Collective
Veterans For Peace chapters 067 and 110